Older people consume a disproportionate quantity of drugs compared to younger people. Furthermore, the volume and cost of these drugs is increasing markedly. In theory, drugs are prescribed to reduce both morbidity and mortality but can also cause harm, particularly amongst older people. Medication review has been advocated as a technique to reduce such problems, whilst at the same time ensuring patients gain maximum benefit from their drugs. Whilst medication review seems a logical solution to inappropriate prescribing in general and adverse reactions in particular, evidence that specific interventions are effective at reducing morbidity or mortality is lacking.
Key words: medication review, adverse drug reactions, medication appropriateness, pharmacists, background.